The Southeastern African American Farmers Organics Network (SAAFON), a leading organization committed to supporting, training, and convening Black farmers in the US South, is seeking nominations and applications for a new Executive Director.
In 2006, Founder Cynthia Hayes saw the capacity and potential of 20 Black farmers who were empowered to develop and sell organic produce, maintain ownership of their own land, and contribute to systems change on behalf of all Black farmers. Together with Owusu Bandele, she founded SAAFON. Today SAAFON serves over 65 member farmers (those who produce fruits and vegetables, livestock, agricultural tourist attractions, timber, and nonprofit farms) and organizations across the Southeast United States. The new Executive Director will honor Cynthia Hayes’ vision while leading SAAFON into a new chapter of impact and connection.
In partnership with the board, the Executive Director will spearhead and execute a new strategic plan that balances SAAFON’s commitment to engaging and empowering Black farmers with the ongoing need to drive systems change for the health, prosperity and liberation of all Black Americans. The ED will lead a talented regional staff of organizers, oversee all business operations in the Atlanta-based office, deepen and maintain SAAFON’s relationships with farmers across the Southeast, nurture existing and new funding relationships, and curate an internal culture that honors ancestral traditions and intergenerational leadership, while charting SAAFON’s path forward as a farmer-led, farmer centric organization.
Success in this role depends upon the new Executive Director’s ability to operationalize SAAFON’s values through structure, systems, and processes while also connecting with and empowering SAAFON’s membership. The role calls for a servant leader who understands the unique context, demands, and workflow of agrarian lifestyles and businesses. As the senior leader, the ED will need to be responsive, eager to cultivate new relationships, inspired to empower staff to test new ideas, and able to mentor and coach them on mastering work at the intersection of movement building and exemplary fiscal, operational, and performance management.
The ideal candidate will be a humble servant leader who is, first and foremost, committed and passionate about Black culture, history and farming. The ED may have some farming experience, but will certainly have networks that includes farmers, landowners, activists, and agricultural organizers across the US South. This means that the ideal candidate will be fluent in the operations and management of a nonprofit as well as the operations and management of agrarian organizations. They will be responsive to the needs, schedules and cultures of agrarian business owners and organizers, and able to capture those needs to inform the programming for SAAFON. The new ED will have significant agricultural policy expertise, and experience managing the business operations of small to medium-sized nonprofit organizations.
The ideal candidate will have experience working in an environment that honors African and Black American cultural traditions, and empowering a team through collaboration, unity, kindness, and humor. They will be a strong interpersonal communicator who is also strategic, flexible, innovative, and emotionally intelligent, with experience successfully growing an organization, and the proven ability to manage a virtual and/or regional team.
For a full position description, please visit: https://nonprofitprofessionals.com/current-searches-all/saafon-ed
Salary will be commensurate with experience and benchmarked to the scale of the organization.
SAAFON is conducting this search with assistance from Tamar Datan and Erica Nicole Griffin of the national search firm, NPAG. Questions, applications including your resume (in Word format) and a cover letter describing your interest, qualifications, and where you learned of the position should be sent to: SAAFON-ED@nonprofitprofessionals.com In order to expedite the internal sorting and reviewing process, please type your name (Last, First) as the only contents in the subject line of your e-mail.
SAAFON is an equal opportunity employer and proudly values diversity.
Candidates of all backgrounds are encouraged to apply.